Business of the Week – KLMR Radio

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Be sure to read The Prowers Journal each week when the Lamar Chamber of Commerce and The Prowers Journal highlight a featured Business of the Week.

This week we are proud to spotlight KLMR Radio, located at 7350 US Highway 50 in Lamar and you can call them at: 719.336.2206

Back L to R: Pat Gittings, Ty Harmon, Ryan Pelton, Front: Mercedes Hernandez and Robert Townsend

KLMR was first signed on as KIDW-AM in 1932, it was 100 watts and was on the air from 6:00am to 10:00pm. The station was located at 1420 on the AM dial. The first studio was located at 117 West Elm Street. The ownership group consisted of Arthur Gordon, WG (Bill) Brown and MR Sunday. The General Manager was Roland Green. In 1936 KIDW signed off and went dark for approximately 12 years.

1937-1947 Left the area dark with no radio stations broadcasting in or out of Lamar.

Ty in his Control Room

1948-1962 – A new group of city fathers/leaders formed the Southeast Colorado Broadcasting Group. This group consisted of Jack Christolear (who was also the GM), CC Reese (Reese Motor Company), Dr. LE Likes, WR Henry, Ralph Eaton, Fred Betz Sr. (Lamar Daily News), and Charles Kendall. It was at this time the call letters were changed to KLMR and the signal strength was boosted to 250 watts. A construction permit was issued in 1948 to Dick Beauchamp and the current building was built and serves as the home of KLMR today.

1962-1987 (approximate) – KLMR was purchased by Dennis Behan and Douglas Kable Behan Broadcasting, Inc.) (1962 – 1983 GM Dennis Behan) Legendary Clare Behan informed the area with the Noon News. Under the direction of Dennis and Clare – Behan Broadcasting applied for and received a license to become a 5000 watt radio station with a directional signal from sun up to sun down. It was also under Behan Broadcasting that the company added a second radio station KLMR FM 93.3. Those call letters were changed to KSEC in 1983 and KLMR AM was identified as “The Giant of the High Plains”. (1983-1986 GM Dan Gittings)

Mercerdes in Alternate Broadcast Studio

(1987 – 1999) Began several years of changes for “The Giant of the High Plains” and KLMR Radio. In 1987 Owners/Operators FB Becquet and Bill Arnold pushed the station into the early 90’s before turning the helm of General Manager over to Monty Spearman. Spearman over came changes in music formats and local issues in the area before negotiating a change in January of 1999.

Late January the reins were turn over the Commonwealth Media (CEO – Dex Allen). KLMR-AM & KSEC-FM became part of the Commonwealth Media group founded by Dex Allen. KBLJ-AM & KTHN-FM in La Junta were also included in this broadcast company. During this time frame the FM station endured more changes with the KSEC call letters changing to KSNZ. Russ Baldwin was added as the General Manager in this time frame as well.

Robert Townsend in Business Office

After difficulty keeping the stations a-float for several years a new company took interest in radio for the area. In February of 2004 Cherry Creek Radio, LLC purchased the entire Commonwealth Media group. Heads of office at the time were, (President & CEO-Joe Schwartz; VP-Director of Sales Dan Gittings). KSNZ-FM call letters changed to KLMR-FM; the dial position moved from 93.3 to 93.5; formats changed to Classic Country on KLMR-AM and Classic Hits on KLMR-FM. Noon News returns to KLMR-AM with the current General Manager Pat Gittings. The rest of the present crew being: Ty Harmon as Program and Ag Director, Ryan Pelton as Sports and News Director, Robert Townsend as Business Manager, Monica Comacho as Office Assistant and Traffic Controller, Jim Frank as Engineer, Mercedes Hernandez and Justin Harmon as Board Operators.

Keeping the "Anything Goes" Legacy Alive

Filed Under: BusinessBusiness of the WeekChamber/Local BusinesscommunityEconomyLamarMediaWeather


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